Once upon a time there was a girl who wanted to be a chef.  She watched lots of cooking program on PBS.  Julia Childs, The Galloping Gourmet, Yan Can Cook, Biba Cooks Italian always held her attention while her siblings and the other neighborhood kids would be outside playing.  Being a natural redhead, this constant indoor activity kept her from sun burning in the hot Sacramento sun and aided in her having flawless skin as an older adult.  

The little redhead experimented with many of the dishes she saw on TV and recipes from magazines and the few cookbooks she had in her mother’s kitchen.  Her reputation as a baker spread throughout the neighborhood and she always had eager and willing guinea pigs to try out her wares.  There was even a neighbor woman who would pay her to make cheesecake!

Her skills as a cook and baker were much appreciated by her mother.  When the mother decided to get a job in a large retail department store, the red headed teenager became the head chef in the family kitchen.  When her mother would return home from work each evening, the girl would have the table set and dinner waiting in the wings.

Time passed and the girl grew up, left her mother’s home and made her own life.  She chose to marry and have a child.  Her dreams of being a chef and/or baker were put on hold for many years.  The marriage ended in divorce, she made an attempt at owning a cafe which ended in bankruptcy, the daughter moved out and made her own life and finally, at the age of 50, the redheaded woman went ahead with her dream………………………………..

Patty and Chef Parks at Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon

She enrolled in culinary school!  What a wonderful experience it was.  Although the little red hen already had an extensive background in baking and cooking, she learned how to finely tune those natural talents of hers.  When asked if it was worth the money and time she would say “It’s not about the money spent, but the realization of a dream.  If there is something you have wanted to do your entire life, then you must do it!  Live your passion; it’s never too late.”

Yes, that's me front left. They always put the shorties up front!

Patty attended and graduated with a  Diplome in Le Cordon Bleu Patisserie and Baking from Western Culinary Institute in 2004.

My final project - The Evil Queen made from pulled sugar

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6 Responses to “WCI Graduate”


  1. March 11, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    You are so adorable! Thank you for being my pale skinned redheaded personal chef and wife. I’m so proud to be yours!

  2. 2 ashley
    May 10, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    i wanted to say that i love your site, your story is great, i also am attending le cordon bleu i recognized the emblem at an instance. congrats grad on your dream

    • May 10, 2010 at 10:34 pm

      Hey Ashley!
      Thanks for leaving a nice comment. I hope you are enjoying yourself a le cordon bleu. I had a great time there. Good luck to you in all that you desire.
      VG

  3. May 18, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    rated this with 5 stars….such a lovely story 🙂

    • May 18, 2010 at 8:22 pm

      You are so nice! Thanks so much!
      VG

  4. September 8, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    I loved this so much! It’s so true – how important it is to live your passion – and good on you for doing just that!

    Sunshine


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